19 years ago
and finished getting the last minute items I needed to take with me to the
Contractions were still coming at regular intervals somehwere between 3.5
and 4.5 minutes but only from 30 to 45 seconds in length.
I laid down with Savannah to let her nurse to sleep. I was expecting the
contractions to get much stronger because of the nursing and laying down
but they slowed down quite a bit as soon as I was laying on my side. We
laid there for a half an hour and I probably only had 3 or 4 contractions
the whole time. They were much more intense than if I had been standing up,
so I was glad there weren't too many!
As soon as Savannah was asleep, I placed a call to the birth center. At
about 10:50pm Chris called back to ask me some questions. I told her how
far apart and how long the contractions were and she asked me how long I
had been having them - which at this point was about 3 hours. She
then asked me how long I had been in labor with Savannah and how painful
the current contractions were. I told her I was having one "right now"
and she coudn't tell, that I was in labor the first time for 10 hours,
and that pain probably shouldn't be a gauge because I was walking and
talking through contractions until I was fully dialated the last time.
She asked us how far we had to drive and because it would take us about
75 minutes to get there she reluctantly told us to come on over and
she would check me. If I wasn't that far along, they would send me
to a hotel to spend my early labor there.
We left the house at 11 p.m. I must admit, it wasn't a very comfortable
The baby was squirming around in extreme amounts which made everything
even more uncomfortable. I don't remember what Savannah was doing during
my labor with her, but I would have to say this baby was awake almost the
whole time I was in labor - and VERY active.
Mike was a saint while driving. I made him terribly nervous as
he could here me timing contractions with the stopwatch. Periodically,
if the beeps were close together, he would start driving too fast, so I
would warn him that the police really didn't care if I was in labor or
not. . . they might be sympathetic, but would write you a ticket
and wish you good luck as they walked off.
We arrived at the birth center at about 12:15. Chris let us in, and had
me use the bathroom so they could check for protein in my urine. She was
also waiting for another couple to come in to be checked (she was at 3cm,
Chris popped her sac, and sent her off to the hospital). After I was
done she had me go into an examination room and get partially undressed.
I squatted through a contraction and hopped up onto the table to have
an internal when Chris discovered that there wasn't any KY in the room.
She left to find some, and I had to hop down to squat through another
contraction, and wait until she came back.
Upon examination, she said I was 5cm dialated, the bag was still
intact, and the baby's head was in a good position.
She let me hop off the table and told me that since I didn't have a room
preference she would put me in the "wood" room (big 4 poster oak bed)
as she was right handed and it was easier for her to get to me
I asked her if I could hop in the shower for a little while and she
said that would be fine, but I should probably save use of the jacuzzi
until I was farther along - somthing to look forward to.
The shower felt great!
Contractions immediately became much stronger and closer together, but
still didn't seem to get any longer. At this point I was bending over
during the contractions so the water was hitting my lower back. I
don't think the water helped at all, but bending over did.
Within about 10 minutes of starting the shower, I had to return to
squatting through contractions. Since the shower wouldn't reach me if
I was squatting, I decided to turn it off, and fill the tub for a soak.
I was hoping to get the water deep enough that it would cover my
lower back and take the edge off.
As the tub was filling the contractions took another turn and became
even stronger. Mike tried to get me to drink some juice, but I knew
if I did I would throw it all up - this should have been my first clue
that I was no longer in early labor. I had my head resting on the side
of the tub, still squatting through contractions. I must have had three
or four contractions and remember thinking that if I was only at 5cm
they might have to transfer me to the hospital and give me an epidural
because I KNEW I could never put up with 5 more cm of increasing
About the time I switched to facing the side of the tub I noticed that it
really felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Chris came in and wanted
me to stand up so she could listen to the baby, but I told her I really
had to go to the bathroom so she said she would wait, and the pressure
was probably just the baby.
I slowly got out of the tub and onto the toilet. I must have had a
contraction or two while there and realized that I didn't have to go
to the bathroom after all, but was feeling the urge to push.
Chris figured it out before me (that's what they are paid for) and
was prepping the room as I was still in the bathroom. As I got up to
leave I noticed that I was starting to bleed a bit. I had no
bloody show up to this point, and this was more than it would
have been were I in early labor - very bloody and mucus-y too.
I walked out of the bathroom and another contraction hit. Mike, with
juice cup in hand, quickly put it down and had me lean on him until it
was over. By this point I knew I really had to push.
As the contraction ended I waddled over to the bed and laid down. I
remember thinking that the bed was too soft. Chris listened to the
baby's heartrate which was still great - up at about 140 - and then
checked my dialation. I don't think I was quite 10 because I vaguely
remember her telling me that there was a little lip left, as well as
the intact bag.
I rolled onto my side as soon as she was done and assumed it was o.k. for
me to push since I wasn't told not to. I don't think I could have kept
myself from it anyhow.
Our second stage lasted about 8 minutes. In retrospect, it seemed
very fast, but was like slow-motion while going through it. Chris had to
warn me once to take deeper, slower breaths so I wouldn't hyperventilate -
I came dangerously close to doing so while in labor with Savannah.
I had a towel from my shower draped around my upper half (I was cold and
didn't manage to have time to get a tshirt on after the shower) so I
ended up holding a corner over my mouth during contractions and concentrated
on listening to my breathing through it. It worked.
On my second push I felt a pop, but knew it wasn't the amniotic sac because
there was no gush of fluid. I told Chris and she said it was probably
the "front" bag - whatever that may be.
It was pretty uncomfortable to push with both my legs down so Mike held
one up for me. It kind of made me feel like a cow, but it was a little
better that way.
Between contractions Chris had Mike get out the amnihook (she had sterile
gloves on and couldn't open the drawer and package without ruining them).
I had specified in my birth plan that I didn't want the bag ruptured,
but figured there must have been a method to her madness. . . well, after
the bag was popped (and not a lot of fluid gushed out) Chris jokingly said
that this way the bag wouldn't splash all over her. Comic relief and
a crowning head. The time of AROM was 1:37am.
I couldn't differentiate between the pressure of the bag and the pressure
of the baby's head at this point, so the baby must have been right there,
In between this and the next contraction Chris told me how she wanted me
to breath when she asked me to. . . It's hard to explain, but it was
short breaths with an "uh" sound to it. Invariably this was to keep
me from pushing when she didn't want me to.
Twice in the next contraction she asked me to breathe this way, and
at 1:38 Keegan was born.
It was extremely low key - Just me, Mike and the midwife in a dimly lit
room. There was a nurse on the way, but things moved so quickly, she
didn't make it there on time.
Chris had me pull Keegan up next to my side as soon as he was far
enough out for me to grab. He cried briefly and was very alert. I
got to feel the umbilical cord while it was still pulsing, and was
able to coax Mike into doing so also. Kind of cool.
The placenta was delivered less than ten minutes after that baby -
I looked at it this time (didn't really care the last time) and
was rather amazed at the size. After hearing a lot of folk talk about
it, I thought it was small. What is cool is that you can see the
amniotic sac (less the fluid) too.
After the placenta was out, Chris checked my perineal area and
pronounced it completely intact. She was pleased (as was I) as the
baby came out as a compound presentation with his fist alongside
I then rolled over onto my other side, moved the baby with me,
covered up with the bedding and a HUGE heating pad, and proceeded
to get nursing underway. Keegan wasn't much interested at first
but we managed to get things going.
Amidst a few checks by the nurse (who finally did arrive) we
curled up and slept for about an hour until there was enough hot
water for baths.
We left the center at 6 am, stopped at Krispy Kreme for hot
donuts and arrived home in time to be there when Savannah woke
We continue to be amazed by the simplicity of the whole thing.